A bit of mild ridicule does work, it would appear.
Swindon Town has abandoned its ban of its local newspaper, imposed because the paper’s football reporter had the temerity to report some team news before a match.
Sam Morshead, of the Swindon Advertiser, thanked the Sports Journalists’ Association for its support last week, when together with a re-tweet by The Times’s Oliver Kay, more than 10,000 people read our report on the football club’s ban.
And many of our readers expressed their astonishment at Swindon Town’s over-the-top actions.
Morshead, the Advertiser’s chief sports writer, using his own sources, had tweeted that striker Nile Ranger was in the side to play Peterborough before the team sheets were handed in. Peterborough’s manager adjusted his team selection as a consequence of the information.
But Advertiser editor Gary Lawrence met Swindon Town chairman Lee Power and director Sangita Shah for talks yesterday and the ban was lifted. “We had a full and frank exchange and Lee made it clear how he felt about the tweet and other issues around reporting of the club,” Lawrence wrote.
“I was able to explain our position and make a few points about what we do and why we do it.
“It was helpful and I was able to appreciate why Lee was upset and I hope he was able to understand that the paper, and Sam, are among the club’s most fervent backers in this town but we have a job to do and as long as we do it responsibly we have to be free to get on with it.”
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